10. Coffins ‘Craving To Eternal Slumber’
One of the shortest releases on my list, but from one of my favourite Japanese bands, and one of my favourite death/doom bands period. Coffins drag their death metal from the sludgiest, darkest places and craft riffs from the eldritch darkness. Brutal, dense and that guitar tone gets me every time.
9. Pentagram ‘Curious Volume’
A triumphant return for one of doom’s legends. Curious Volume sees Pentagram regain their place as one of doom’s figureheads with swaggering groove, achingly heavy riffs and Liebling’s soulful croon sounding better than it has in years. Don’t close the casket on them yet…
8. Paradise Lost ‘A Plague Within’
Yorkshire doom masters bring the heavy, the gothic melancholy, and just about everything else in their arsenal to create a monolithic slab of deathly doom majesty. Another prime example of how the golden oldies never fail to amaze or deliver.
7. High On Fire ‘Luminiferous’
RIFFS! That’s pretty much the whole modus operandi for High On Fire, and Luminiferous delivers a metric fuckton of riffs. Matt Pike and co have always possessed this primal power in voice, riff and drum, and Luminiferous may be their most definite statement yet.
6. Thorr-Axe ‘The Gates Of Winter’
Another masterpiece of riffing, a crushing swing of the doom sword to smote the enemies below. Thorr-Axe blend some hardcore tinges into their swelling post metal/doom mix, and the result is a heady album of bludgeon and glacial power.
5. Winds Of Genocide ‘Usurping The Throne Of Disease’
Not just content with having one of 2015’s best album titles, Winds Of Genocide laid down one of the year’s most visceral pieces of extremity. Equal parts grind, crust, death metal and d-beat, Usurping The Throne Of Disease is end of the world music, to be played when civilisation crashes into blackness and despair.
4. A Dream Of Poe ‘An Infinity Emerged’
An album designed to wring pure emotion from you in every way. Crooning vocals, mourning riffs and a creaking atmosphere builds into one of the gloomiest pieces of gothic doom art this year. Affecting in the most primal way.
3. Shrine Of The Serpent – S/T
A pure evilness abounds in this three track crushing death/doom from these US newcomers. This is the sound of misery crushing you into nothing, with a fetid stench of death about every riff and every vomited incantation. Doomed to destroy.
2. Windhand ‘Grief’s Infernal Flower’
How can this band keep writing instant classics? They should have failed to match Soma‘s doom perfection, but yet they bettered it. Electric Wizard inspired psychedelic groove drags you into the void, while soothing vocals and dashes of acoustic guitar and ambience eases your journey. Heaviness defined.
1. Undersmile ‘Anhedonia’
My word, was this the best slab of doom tectonic this year or what? It isn’t often I find something to pick over Windhand, but Undersmile’s Anhedonia was a revelation of doom’s primal spirit. The riffs were huge, the songs were great and the hypnotic, dirging groove sticks with you forever. Be it the desert scorched Atacama Sunburn or the glacial crush of Aeris, or even the melancholic beauty of Sky Burial, Undersmile could not be touched in 2015.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson